Shaw strikes in first race of the season
Ireland's Damien Shaw took his first win on foreign soil yesterday when the An Post-Chain Reaction rider soloed to glory on stage one of the 2.2-ranked Tour du Loir et Cher in France.
Shaw's winter preparation was disrupted when he broke a rib and a wrist in a training crash at home in February. The crash meant that yesterday was the 32-year-old's first time to turn a pedal in anger this year.
"This is a big surprise for me," said the former national champion. "Apart from the fact that this is my first race of the year, I was surprised first that the breakaway stayed away and then that I was able to animate it a little bit and go for the win."
Shaw was part of a seven-man breakaway that built up a maximum lead of five minutes. When the gap was whittled down to under a minute with 30km left to race, it looked like a bunch sprint was on the cards.
The Mullingar man had other ideas and surged clear alone in the final kilometres to finish four seconds clear of Frenchman Thomas Rostollon.